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Author Topic: Marriage in the Orthodox Church  (Read 5555 times) Average Rating: 0
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Liz
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« on: July 04, 2009, 05:57:12 PM »

Hi all.

I was wondering if I could have some advice/ hear some opinions on my situation.

I am Anglican, and my partner is Russian Orthodox. We have just started talking about marriage, but neither of us is familiar at all with the ceremony itself. I have been learning how the standard Orthodox service might work, but I am still not sure about the details. In practical terms, I would love some advice on what we might expect. We will, of course, be speaking to my partner's priest.

I also wondered if anyone could advise me on issues of faith. Theologically, what should I/we be doing?

If anyone has thoughts or experiences to share concerning a marriage of an Orthodox/ non-Orthodox couple, I would be glad to hear them. I would also be grateful for any brief thoughts people might have on marriage itself - although I must stress that I say 'brief' for a reason, namely that I would prefer to hear more about the ceremony and the time leading up to it.

I would love go hear also from non-Orthodox forum members (if there are any reading), to learn what they think.

Anticipating your responses,

Thanks!

Liz.
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 11:09:18 PM »

Dear Liz,

From what I have read and learned, no Orthodox priest or bishop would forbid your marriage in the Orthodox Church, regardless of who you at the moment are, as far as your bridegroom is an Orthodox Christian.

Just go ahead and marry him, and Kala Stefana ("Happy Crowning"), and Many Years to you guys!

G.
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 02:38:32 AM »

Dear Liz,

From what I have read and learned, no Orthodox priest or bishop would forbid your marriage in the Orthodox Church, regardless of who you at the moment are, as far as your bridegroom is an Orthodox Christian.

Just go ahead and marry him, and Kala Stefana ("Happy Crowning"), and Many Years to you guys!

G.
Many years!
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 04:23:43 AM »

All I will say is that when I first saw one (albeit online) I thought "Gosh what a bunch of pomp and pageantry....unnecessary".


Then I read up on what everything actually meant and symbolized.......I wouldn't be married any other way. It is an absolutely gorgeous ceremony.


And I'm not even Orthodox......yet.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 04:39:51 AM »

Hi all.

I was wondering if I could have some advice/ hear some opinions on my situation.

I am Anglican, and my partner is Russian Orthodox. We have just started talking about marriage, but neither of us is familiar at all with the ceremony itself. I have been learning how the standard Orthodox service might work, but I am still not sure about the details. In practical terms, I would love some advice on what we might expect. We will, of course, be speaking to my partner's priest.

I also wondered if anyone could advise me on issues of faith. Theologically, what should I/we be doing?

If anyone has thoughts or experiences to share concerning a marriage of an Orthodox/ non-Orthodox couple, I would be glad to hear them. I would also be grateful for any brief thoughts people might have on marriage itself - although I must stress that I say 'brief' for a reason, namely that I would prefer to hear more about the ceremony and the time leading up to it.

I would love go hear also from non-Orthodox forum members (if there are any reading), to learn what they think.

Anticipating your responses,

Thanks!

Liz.

First, congratulations on your engagement! May God grant you both Many Years!

As far as what to expect, I would like to inform you that you are making a wise choice by having the wedding in the Orthodox Church. Theological issues aside, an Orthodox Wedding ceremony aesthetically is hands-down the most beautiful Wedding ceremony in all of Christendom!

Also, it is the only Wedding Ceremony that does not treat the woman like a piece of property! Why? In the Orthodox Ceremony, the bride is not "given away." She walks in the Church of her own free will, and meets the groom at the back of the Church. That's right, the ceremony starts at the back of the Church.

The Orthodox Wedding Ceremony is divided into two parts: The Betrothal Service/Exchanging of rings and the Crowning Service. At one point in history these were two seperate services, but the Church has since blended the two into one.

When the bride walks into the Church, she meets the groom, the priest, and the Best Man at the back of the Church. The priest begins the service by saying "Blessed is our God always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages" to which the people respond "Amen."

The priest then asks God to bless the bride and groom with children, to guide them in their marriage, and to unify the couple. The priest then takes the rings from the Best Man, makes the sign of the cross over the couples' heads three times, and betrothes the couple to one another. The rings are exchanged three times, taking the bride's ring and placing it on the groom's finger and vice-versa. The rings are the symbol of the betrothal and signify that in married life the weaknesses of the one partner will be compensated for by the strengths of the other; the imperfections of one by the aptitudes of another.

After the exchanging of the rings, the priest and the couple process to the front of the Church where a small table (tetrapod) is set up with candles, the crowns, the Holy Gospel, and a cross. The Crowning Service then commences.

The bride and groom are then given candles which they hold throughout the service. The candles are like the lamps of the five wise virgins in the parable taught by our Lord. Because they had enough oil in their lanterns, they were able to receive the Bridegroom when he came at midnight. (Matt 25:10) The candles symoblize the couples willingness to receive Christ into their marriage.

The priest then says some more prayers over the couple, and he then crowns the groom then the bride. The crowns are signs of the glory and honor with which god crowns them during the marriage sacrament. The groom and the bride are crowned as king and queen of their own little kingdom, the home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity which has been revealed through Christ and His Holy Church. They are an earthly image of Christ, and His Bride, the Church. The crowns in the Orthodox ceremony are also an image of the crowns of martyrdom since every true marriage involves immeasurable self-sacrafice by both the bride and the groom.

After the groom and bride have been crowned, the Epistle (Ephesians 5:20-33) and the Gospel (John 2:1-11) are read. More prayers are then said by the priest.

The blessing of the common cup then takes place.

This is NOT Holy Communion, so you do not have to be Orthodox to partake of the common cup. Smiley

The blessing of the common cup is given in remembrance of Christ's first miracle of Cana in Galilee where He converted the water into wine and gave it to the newlyweds. Wine is given to the couple and shared from one cup. This is the "common cup" of life denoting the mutual sharing of joy and sorrow the token of a life in harmony. The drinking of wine from the common cup serves to impress upon the couple that from this moment on they shall share everything in life.

The cup is given to the bridegroom three times and then the bride three times. Joining the right hands of the bride and groom, the priest leads them in procession around the tetrapod. This is known as the "Dance of Isaiah."

After the final blessing is given, the priest removes the crowns and sends them forth into the world.

A couple things worth noting:

First, although the bride is not given away, many priest's will allow the bride's father to "escort" her into the church if she so chooses. Many priests in the West realize that Western brides want their weddings to look like the ones they see in the movies, so they allow this.

Second, there are no vows in the Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. You will not be saying "I do" on your Wedding Day. In fact, you will not say anything during the whole service! Smiley Holy Matrimony is a sacrament/mystery of the Orthodox Church in which a man and woman have their conjugal union blessed by the All-Holy Trinity through the Bride of Christ, the Church. The Marriage Ceremony is conducted by the priest before the congregation.

Third, as mentioned you will be crowned. Since you are being married in the Russian tradition, this has a special twist to it. Way back when, the Tsar of Russia decided that the only person worthy of actually wearing a crown was the Tsar. So, during the Russian ceremony the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor will have the oh-so-fun responsibility of actually holding the crowns over your head like this:



Fourth, instrumental music is not allowed in the Orthodox Church, so save the stringed quartet for cocktail hour. Also, don't worry about having to "pick out your music" for the ceremony; that's already been decided by the Church. Smiley

You asked if there is anything you should be doing to prepare for the wedding. The priest marrying you is really the best person suited to answer this question.

The answer to this question also largely depends on whether or not you want to convert to Orthodoxy.

Oh, one other thing -- about your dress. Sleeveless is a big no-no in the Orthodox Church. So if you want a sleeveless dress, make sure you have a balero, or a wrap, or something to put on your arms during the ceremony. You can take it off once you get to the reception. Same thing goes for your bridesmaid's dresses.

That's all I can think of for now.

Hope this helps!

In XC,

Maureen


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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 05:29:16 AM »

Second, there are no vows in the Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. You will not be saying "I do" on your Wedding Day.

Dear Maureen,

You have described it all so very beautifully.

I see that Liz says she is Anglican and so I am guessing she lives in the UK or one of the Commonwealth countries.   We have had to include vows into the wedding ceremony to comply with British law which requires that verbal consent be given in front of two witnesses. This applies throughout the Commonwealth.  It's a simple requirement but without it the marriage is not legal.   The vows are inserted at the very beginning of the Service of Crowning.
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 05:34:17 AM »

Second, there are no vows in the Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. You will not be saying "I do" on your Wedding Day.

Dear Maureen,

You have described it all so very beautifully.

I see that Liz says she is Anglican and so I am guessing she lives in the UK or one of the Commonwealth countries.   We have had to include vows into the wedding ceremony to comply with British law which requires that verbal consent be given in front of two witnesses. This applies throughout the Commonwealth.  It's a simple requirement but without it the marriage is not legal.   The vows are inserted at the very beginning of the Service of Crowning.

Thanks Maureen, that's a really useful description. Yes, I'm in Britain, and I did wonder about the verbal issue because several people have reiterated that there are no words said, and I'm aware from my cousin's (secular) wedding ceremony that this contravenes British law.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 05:36:22 AM »

Thanks for the info Father! I was unaware of that little tidbit.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 05:41:36 AM »

Second, there are no vows in the Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. You will not be saying "I do" on your Wedding Day.

Dear Maureen,

You have described it all so very beautifully.

I see that Liz says she is Anglican and so I am guessing she lives in the UK or one of the Commonwealth countries.   We have had to include vows into the wedding ceremony to comply with British law which requires that verbal consent be given in front of two witnesses. This applies throughout the Commonwealth.  It's a simple requirement but without it the marriage is not legal.   The vows are inserted at the very beginning of the Service of Crowning.

Thanks Maureen, that's a really useful description. Yes, I'm in Britain, and I did wonder about the verbal issue because several people have reiterated that there are no words said, and I'm aware from my cousin's (secular) wedding ceremony that this contravenes British law.

When I was last in the UK, in the early 1980s, the Greek Orthodox Church was still unwilling to alter its wedding ceremony and include marriage vows.  It was necessary for every Greek couple in the UK to have a civil wedding at the Registry office and after that, a wedding in the Greek Church.  I do not know if this odd system is still in use today.  The Russians and Serbs have not had a problem in accommodating British law and have simply included the marriage vows in the ceremony.
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2009, 08:21:43 AM »

One practical thing: you might need your baptismal certificate or other proof that you were baptized: the Church cannot marry the unbaptized (yes, it happens, and yes, priests get defrocked for it).

The marriage is supposed to be announced three consecutive Sundays before the wedding (the "if anyone has any objection" part of the Western service).

Another thing, since Western Churches often still have a marriage during a Mass (something, sadly, we don't usually do  Angry.  I've been to one such Orthodox Wedding), their won't be the problem of what to do with the non-Orthodox during communion, which often proves a tense moment in weddings done by the Vatican.

Just as a sidenote, although I have no reason to think it applies to the OP: a priest can deny marrying you.  I've known priests who have done so because of their conclusion that no amount of blessing could make the proposed union work.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2009, 08:49:21 AM »

Thanks for the info Father! I was unaware of that little tidbit.  Smiley

It comes from the difference of the theology of marriage: in the East the analogy was the persons were baptized into each other (during the ceremony Indian Orthodox couples exchange their baptismal crosses), and the rite was patterned after the baptismal service.  Hence it starts "Blessed is the Kingdom..." (only Eucharist, Baptism and Marriage start that way), the three fold exchange of rings and crowns, the formula "the Servant of God N is crowned to...." etc.  As is usual in baptism, where there are no vows and the profession of faith is said by the godparents for the neophyte, there are no vows in the Orthodox wedding service. The Church blesses a union already formed (in some countries, Romania for instance, the Church will not marry anyone until they provide proof, i.e. the wedding registration, that they are already civilly married, usually done the same day an hour or so before), raising it to a Christian marriage.  Hence married converts are held to be married in the Church when they are received, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her (and hence why an Orthodox marrying outside the Church is seen as apostacy).  Since it is a Holy Mystery, it is effected by the Church in the person of the priest.

In the West, the couple is said to marry themselves, with the priest only as a witness, and the service is patterned after the Roman ceremony, which was just the signing of the marriage contract, and to this day, Western law (at least common law systems) bases its family law on contract law.  Hence the emphasis of vows, as at the basis of contract law is the offer and the acceptance of the offer.  So too why consummation of the marriage contract is important in Western law (and canon law), but nearly irrelevant in Orthodox canon law.  So too why in common law nearly anyone can marry you, as anyone competent can witness an oral contract, which marriage is taken to be.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2009, 09:29:39 AM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2009, 09:41:02 AM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en

Just as a side note: in Illinois, common law marriage was abolished over a century ago.  It will recognize one from a jurisdiction still having them, but no such thing exists in Illinois.

Btw, the situation you seem to describe Father has prevailed for a long time in Ethiopia, where people often do not marry in Church before years of civil marriage, the clergy excepted.
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2009, 02:42:48 PM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en

Just as a side note: in Illinois, common law marriage was abolished over a century ago.  It will recognize one from a jurisdiction still having them, but no such thing exists in Illinois.

Btw, the situation you seem to describe Father has prevailed for a long time in Ethiopia, where people often do not marry in Church before years of civil marriage, the clergy excepted.

Ok - just to clarify, because I'm a little confused: are people saying that the Orthodox Church would, or would not, recognize a marriage not made in the Church? What if we married in an Anglican Church?
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2009, 02:54:50 PM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en

Just as a side note: in Illinois, common law marriage was abolished over a century ago.  It will recognize one from a jurisdiction still having them, but no such thing exists in Illinois.

Btw, the situation you seem to describe Father has prevailed for a long time in Ethiopia, where people often do not marry in Church before years of civil marriage, the clergy excepted.

Ok - just to clarify, because I'm a little confused: are people saying that the Orthodox Church would, or would not, recognize a marriage not made in the Church? What if we married in an Anglican Church?

Your husband would be excommunicate.  And your minister cannot officiate at the Orthodox ceremony or vest.  If you have an Anglican service before or after the Orthodox service, that's not in fact a problem.  The Church is only concerned about the Orthodox ceremony, and that the Orthodox has one.
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2009, 03:00:39 PM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en

Just as a side note: in Illinois, common law marriage was abolished over a century ago.  It will recognize one from a jurisdiction still having them, but no such thing exists in Illinois.

Btw, the situation you seem to describe Father has prevailed for a long time in Ethiopia, where people often do not marry in Church before years of civil marriage, the clergy excepted.

Ok - just to clarify, because I'm a little confused: are people saying that the Orthodox Church would, or would not, recognize a marriage not made in the Church? What if we married in an Anglican Church?

Your husband would be excommunicate.  And your minister cannot officiate at the Orthodox ceremony or vest.  If you have an Anglican service before or after the Orthodox service, that's not in fact a problem.  The Church is only concerned about the Orthodox ceremony, and that the Orthodox has one.I

Thanks. I have heard several different opinions, including that my partner would be excommunicate for a period of time if he were to take part in an Anglican ceremony before or after an Orthodox wedding - is that what you mean? (And I strongly suspect an Anglican priest would give you a quick answer if you *did* ask him of officiate at a non-Anglican ceremony!)
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2009, 03:07:37 PM »


, although the Church does not recognize marriages outside of her

I suspect that the Russian Orthodox Church may be just a little less demanding on this point and it recognises what are termed "common law marriages."  Not exactly analogous to what you are speaking of but it is an interesting point.   The bishops speak of the need to respect common law mariages in their Millennial 2000 document "The Basis of the Social Concept"  http://www.russianchurchusa.org/index.php3?mode=1318&id=2110&ln=en

Just as a side note: in Illinois, common law marriage was abolished over a century ago.  It will recognize one from a jurisdiction still having them, but no such thing exists in Illinois.

Btw, the situation you seem to describe Father has prevailed for a long time in Ethiopia, where people often do not marry in Church before years of civil marriage, the clergy excepted.

Ok - just to clarify, because I'm a little confused: are people saying that the Orthodox Church would, or would not, recognize a marriage not made in the Church? What if we married in an Anglican Church?

Your husband would be excommunicate.  And your minister cannot officiate at the Orthodox ceremony or vest.  If you have an Anglican service before or after the Orthodox service, that's not in fact a problem.  The Church is only concerned about the Orthodox ceremony, and that the Orthodox has one.I

Thanks. I have heard several different opinions, including that my partner would be excommunicate for a period of time if he were to take part in an Anglican ceremony before or after an Orthodox wedding - is that what you mean? (And I strongly suspect an Anglican priest would give you a quick answer if you *did* ask him of officiate at a non-Anglican ceremony!)

I've never heard the non-Orthodox ceremony encouraged, but I have never heard anyone excommunicate for any period of time for it, except perhaps for those who wouldn't marry you in the first place, because they don't recognize non-Orthodox baptism even by economy.
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2009, 03:33:46 PM »

The Orthodox Wedding Ceremony is divided into two parts: The Betrothal Service/Exchanging of rings and the Crowning Service. At one point in history these were two seperate services, but the Church has since blended the two into one.

What about decrowning? Some Priests tend to mix it also because it's to hard to wait one more week Wink.


Quote
Second, there are no vows in the Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. You will not be saying "I do" on your Wedding Day. In fact, you will not say anything during the whole service! Smiley

 Huh What about  the questions asked by a Priest? Do you really want and aren't forced to marry that man/woman?* and Haven't you been married already?*

Most people under the influence of movies tend to ask I have. also for the second one. It's always very funny. 

*translation mine, didn't want to google the proper one
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2009, 03:39:20 PM »


What about decrowning? Some Priests tend to mix it also because it's to hard to wait one more week Wink.

What *is* decrowning? Sorry to be so ignorant!
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2009, 03:47:31 PM »

A rite served on the newlyweeds (is it the right term?) on 8th day after the wedding. After it they can make love, no earlier.
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« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2009, 04:03:52 PM »

A rite served on the newlyweeds (is it the right term?) on 8th day after the wedding. After it they can make love, no sooner.

'Newlyweds'; and thanks!
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2009, 05:17:07 PM »

All liturgical texts I have seen include rubrics that call for the priest to remove the Crowns immediately after the Dance of Isaiah. No eight day waiting. That's also how I've seen the Sacrament celebrated in Greece and Romania.
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2009, 09:15:41 PM »

During the prayer that includes "...Take their Crowns into your Kingdom..," the practice in the GOAA that I've observed chanting for 39 years, is that the priest, at this point, removes the Crowns and places them on the Holy Table.
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2009, 10:06:30 PM »

what about tying of the hands? the Serb Church does that - do other Churches do that?
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« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2009, 11:09:17 PM »

what about tying of the hands? the Serb Church does that - do other Churches do that?

The Romanian Orthodox Church does the tying of the hands. I remember I thought that was a neat practice at my wedding.
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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2009, 12:33:23 PM »

How is the tying done please?  At our wedding the priest (Anglican) wrapped the end of his stole around our hands.

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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2009, 12:55:44 PM »

How is the tying done please?  At our wedding the priest (Anglican) wrapped the end of his stole around our hands.



Ebor, do I take it that you are Anglican? I haven't come across this custom of tying hands in any Church, only in pagan ceremonies. What is it?
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« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2009, 01:10:27 PM »


How is the tying done please?  At our wedding the priest (Anglican) wrapped the end of his stole around our hands.

When my sister was married, we provided a pure white cloth with which the priest "tied" the hands, he than covered the cloth with his stole and they proceeded with their "first steps" as husband and wife around the tetrapod, led by the priest.  I thought it was extremely moving.

Taking your first steps together, being led by a priest....just wonderful.

Of course, my hand was about to fall off because I was holding the crown over her head, and trying not to step on her long train as we made three trips around the tetrapod...so, at that moment, I think I missed the whole "meaning"....   Wink


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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2009, 02:16:32 PM »

Women carrying crowns? Is this normal in Slavic American Churches?
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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2009, 02:32:00 PM »

A rite served on the newlyweeds (is it the right term?) on 8th day after the wedding. After it they can make love, no earlier.

Wow, seriously? You are married for 8 days without being able to have sex?
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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2009, 02:37:41 PM »


Women carrying crowns? Is this normal in Slavic American Churches?

It is as far as I know.  I held the crown over my sister, the bride, and a man held it over the groom.  We were not actually allowed to "hold" them, however.  The priest presented the gold crowns to us, so that we could kiss the icon on them, then he turned them the right was and handed them to us to hold with a handkerchief, not with our bare hands.

The other girls wanted their turn, however, this was my one and only sister, and it was my honor to hold the crown over her.  So, all through the wedding, I did just that.  I refused to even switch hands through the "Our Father" and other major prayers.  I can tell you my arms were aching.  The man who was holding the other crown, told me later, that he wanted to hand off the crown to one of the other men, but, he wouldn't be outdone by a mere girl!   Wink 

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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2009, 03:06:10 PM »

In Poland crowns are hold (of course in handkerchiefs) by men both above the bride and groom. One person holds the crown whole service. The girls' role during the sacrament is to wipe out the sweat from the best men's faces Smiley

What about binding: in Poland newlyweds' hands during the "Dance of Isaiah" are covered under Priest's epitrachelion.
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« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2009, 03:14:23 PM »

How is the tying done please?  At our wedding the priest (Anglican) wrapped the end of his stole around our hands.



Ebor, do I take it that you are Anglican? I haven't come across this custom of tying hands in any Church, only in pagan ceremonies. What is it?

Yes, Liz, I am an Anglican in the US.  I've seen this joining of hands and the priest wrapping his stole around them at Episcopalian weddings, besides ours.  As I recall (it being over 19 years and three children ago  Wink )  it is done after the vows and the blessing and exchange of rings.  Then the priest joined our hands, wrapped the end of his white stole around them and said this (from the on-line Book of Common Prayer)

"Now that N. and N. have given themselves to each other by
solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and
receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband
and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Spirit.

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

People:        Amen."

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